Five Reasons To Have Your Vehicle Battery Tested Today

by Rich Ellis

Avoid being stranded

You depend on your vehicle to start when you turn the key, but a weak or dead battery isn’t going to provide enough juice to crank the engine and get you where you need to be. There’s no worse feeling than sitting in a deserted parking lot or on the side of the road, late at night, with temperatures hovering below freezing and a cell phone that you forgot to charge, all because of a dead car battery. 

No one can predict exactly when a battery will die

You can’t tell if a battery is about to fail simply by looking at it, nor will knowing a battery’s installation date pinpoint its exact failure date. The average battery lifespan is three to five years, leaving a big window of time where failure can occur even when you know how old the battery is. The only way to gain valuable insight into the battery’s strength and whether it should be replaced is with a battery test. 

Reveal other signs of battery trouble

A battery test forces you or your mechanic to get under the hood and take a closer look at the battery, and in doing so, possibly discover signs of trouble before the battery fails. A leaking battery, buildup of white powder on the terminals, loose terminals, or a battery that vibrates because it isn’t securely clamped down – shortening its life – are all problems that can be discovered and corrected during a routine battery test. 

Your battery can die any time of the year – not just in the winter

Summer’s heat weakens and damages batteries, and winter’s cold and the increased demands of trying to start an engine at below-zero temperatures kills batteries. That generalization, while accurate, doesn’t mean batteries die exclusively in winter. A weak battery can and will fail at any time of the year, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by warmer temperatures. 

Modern batteries are more powerful and reliable than ever, but also working harder than ever

Today’s vehicle batteries power more devices than their predecessors. Passenger cell phones and laptops, GPS navigation systems, computers controlling various vehicle systems, on-board entertainment systems, seat heaters – the list goes on. Each device depends on the battery for power, and the increased load can hasten the demise of a weak battery or one that’s suffering from another problem, such as loose battery terminals. 

Don’t be stranded on the side of the road or in your driveway by a dead battery. Instead: 

  •  Have your battery tested twice a year
  •  Know how old the battery is
  •  Install a new battery whose size is based on vehicle manufacturer recommendations

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